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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/T26757/01
Title: Characterisation of Damage in Complex Structures by Acoustic Emission (AE) during Fatigue Testing
Principal Investigator: Holford, Professor KM
Other Investigators:
Evans, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Messier-Dowty Ltd National Physical Laboratory Physical Acoustics Ltd
Department: Sch of Engineering
Organisation: Cardiff University
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 November 2004 Ends: 31 January 2008 Value (£): 267,237
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials testing & eng. Structural Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
This research is concerned with the development of a non-destructive technique to detect, locate and characterise fatigue damage in complex structures. This work has applications in two main areas. Firstly, it will provide a means of inspecting stuctures under long term fatigue test programmes without the need to shut down the test and remove the component for inspection - thus saving valuable hours in the test programme. Secondly it will be used in structural health monitoring to provide in-service detection of active faults. The programme will use the technique known as Acoustic Emission (AE), which detects stress waves emitted by various sources via sensors placed on the surface of the materail under test.The research programme is designed to enhance the existing knowledge in this field by a comprehensive laboratory test programme for the creation of a database to be used to develop an intelligent strategy for the classification of any AE signal. Static and fatigue tests on relevant structural components will be monitored by AE. The experimental work will focus on: (i) source location and identification of signals arising from laboratory tests including crack initiation, crack face rubbing, crack growth, mechanical vibrations, frictional processes, electrical interference and environmental phenomena, (ii) severity assessment using the source identification methods together with a priori knowledge derived from AE and structural engineering theory and expertise, and (iii) analysis of the effects of propagation and detection conditions. This will include both theoretical and experimental approaches to the characteristics of the source, material, geometry and joining details as well as the sensor and measuring system characteristics.This programme wil benefit from also having real components under full scale fatigue tests at Messier-Dowty available, Tests on these componentswill seek to characterise all sources of AE within these components and will enhance the existing Cardiff database. Furthermore, automatic classification will be investigated as a realistic industrial technique. Located sources will be confirmed by other NDT techniques during testing and destructive examination following completion of each test. Each test will additionally be monitored for surface strain in order to aid possible fracture mechanics correlations.The programme will investigate fundamental principles that have never before been thoroughly investigated. It will provide infommation about how AE signals arise from fatigue damage and how they travel through complex structures , thus providing information that can be applied to the development of automated techniques to detect damage.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.cf.ac.uk